The new Clash de Cartier capsule collection Clash [Un]Limited brings the past back into focus with designs that take us back to the Roaring Twenties
The Roaring 20s was the height of economic boom with Western culture depicting a decade of decadence. Life was good from lavish parties to stock market successes and fashion was the very beautiful flapper style featuring loose slip dresses with drop waists was created to fit the dance of the decade, the Charleston which was a fast-kicking dance.
In the midst of all this jubilation, Cartier caused quite a stir at the International Exhibition of Modern Industrial and Decorative Arts with a hair jewellery piece made up of two diamond orchids studded with onyx studs.
This original and modern jewellery was developed a few years prior by Louis Cartier in the form of spheres punctuated with conical cabochons, which would eventually become one of Cartier’s signatures.
The collection garnered a following and new thematic designs were added on. These included studs as well as beads and clous carrés (French for ‘square nails’) as a nod to the Art Deco period of the 1930s. The return of the stud took place in the early 1940s, which as a motif was also beginning to be used in jewellery design. For instance, it was aligned, articulated and multiplied to make up the links of a yellow gold watch bracelet (1939).
Here’s a look at how the designs have evolved over the years.
Design for a brooch. Cartier Paris, 1925. Executed in platinum, rock crystal, onyx and diamonds
Design for an orchid head ornament. Cartier Paris, 1925. Executed in platinum, onyx and diamonds, mounted on a tortoise shell comb. Graphite, Indian ink and gouache on tracing paper
Archives photograph of a brooch. Cartier Paris, 1925. Executed in platinum, diamonds and onyx
Archives photograph of pendant earrings. Cartier Paris, 1924. Executed in platinum, gold, diamonds and onyx
Archives photograph of a brooch. Cartier Paris, Pink gold, baguette-cut amethysts, 1926. Executed in platinum, diamonds, onyx and black enamel
Pink gold, baguette-cut amethysts, turquoises. Ring. Cartier, 2003
Archives photograph of a bracelet. Cartier Paris, 1937. Executed in gold and lapis-lazuli
Archives photograph of a bracelet. Cartier London, 1938. Executed in gold pointed bead cluster on double gas pipe bracelet
“Handcuff” bracelet, Cartier Paris, 1939. Gold, conical amethyst cabochons, rectangular calibré-cut citrines
Cartier Collection Modernistic bracelet-watch. Cartier New York, 1939
Cartier Collection “Menotte” ring. Cartier, 2003. White gold, onyx
Gold, onyx studs. This ring, often referred to as the Picot ring, is part of a Panthère de Cartier collection launched in 2004
The Clash (Un)limited is about clash of opposites
In 2019, Clash (Un)limited became a part of a dedicated Clash de Cartier collection, where it was combined with clous carrés and beads in a unique ribbed mesh. This year, the collection once again steps into the limelight as a limited-edition jewellery collection that is limitless in terms of creativity.
The latest Clash (Un)limited jewellery pieces rebel against classic forms with their exaggerated volumes, intense black, oversized studs and bold wearing options reinventing Clash de Cartier.
It is an expression of extreme tension and a clash of opposites: Geometric lines combined with inflated volumes, the new jewellery pieces echo and amplify the clash of two opposing attitudes.
A collection of exclusive limited-edition jewellery pieces that highlight the Clash de Cartier stud. Excessive, spiky and voluminous. A radical approach to precious jewellery in white and in black, occasionally punctuated with hints of purple.
Do note that 100% of Cartier diamonds are part of a sustainable collaboration with trusted suppliers who are committed to respecting best social and environmental practices, which for the most part are certified by the Responsible Jewellery Council.
A stud magnetised by diamonds. Radiance is taken to new heights, the light is stunning, bouncing off the curved studs
An oversized stud, an onyx and diamond cone of extraordinary proportions, making it more provocative than ever
Jewellery pieces with multiple uses, like this articulated ring dotted with pyramidal diamond and onyx studs that can be opened and worn as a midi ring
The cuff or choker with onyx clous carrés and diamond studs, is playful and sensorial. The necklace is made up of more than 8,000 diamonds and more than 200 onyx clous carrés